by Kevin Mullaney
Member of the Board of Directors
Save Our Sodus

I have been a full time resident of Sodus Point for 35 years but have been playing here since the early sixties and I am very familiar with the water quality and climate and how it has changed over the years. Recently, I have noticed how Global Warming is changing the weather and how this weather affects the bay.

It is evident to me that the weather patterns while similar to those of the past are much more extreme in intensity and frequency. I am no weatherman but the pattern seems to be warm low pressure fronts coming from the south conflicting with higher pressure cool air from the north and creating strong winds from the southeast which plummet my residence on the south shore of sand point. Then as the low pressure front is pushed to the east, offshore, the wind shifts to the west or northwest and giant lake waves attack the south shore communities along the lake. This happened recently as the combination of high lake levels and storm waves out of the north caused a breaches in the crescent beaches of Port Bay and Sodus Bay.

Sodus Bay has always been a windy place because the lake just north of it provides little residence to the wind but of late, with Global Warming, the wind has been noticeably stronger no matter which direction it comes from.

What I have noticed lately is that the strong south east winds build waves up to 3 foot in height that deposit black rotting seaweed from the bottom of the bay along the beach at the end of Maiden Lane. This has been going on for at least the last five or so years that I have been paying attention to it. The rotting sea weed is removed from the beach by following westerly winds which move it to the east, toward the channel outlet to the lake, cleaning the beach of the rotting seaweed. Then the process repeats itself. The near shore in front of the beach at Maiden Lane seems to have an inexhaustible supply of rotting sea weed which leads me to believe that the bay sediment is moving north driven by the south east winds and then east by westerly winds.

Rotting Seaweed

Rotting Seaweed

There is other evidence that rotting seaweed is coming up from the bottom of the bay. It is a fact of chemistry that seaweed sediment has to take oxygen from the water in order to rot. Rotting is an oxidation reduction reaction and when the strong southeast waves are flowing, foam is present on the shore along with the rotting seaweed. This foam is an indication of a lack of oxygen in the water that is plummeting the shore while it should be being oxygenated from the white caps being generated by the strong winds.

brown-and-white-foam-0985

This could suggest that the rotten seaweed will eventually wind up in the lake and it has been determined that the near shore of the lake is more polluted than the bay. This fact would tend to support my observations.

Given all this I would conclude that the strong weather patterns which are a product of Global Warming are working to remove polluting sediment from the bay. Then we couple this with efforts of Save Our Sodus and Nature Conservatory to restore the effectiveness of water shed wetlands to filter incoming nitrates and phosphates along with the Wayne County Soil and Conservation Departments campaign to remove seaweed before it can become sediment  should work together to help reverse the process deteriorating water quality in the bay.

by Kevin Mullaney

Member of the Board of Directors

Save Our Sodus

APRIL 2016 STORM

The combination of the storms on Sunday and Monday, April 3 – 4, 2016 and the higher than normal water levels (approximately 246.3) have caused a break in a few barrier bars along the South Shore of Lake Ontario, including the Port Bay east barrier bar and Charles Point/Crescent Beach connection on Sodus Bay.

Thankfully no action has been taken on Plan 2014.


If Lake Ontario was under Plan 2014 control, the water level would be approximately 7.5 inches higher and the trigger to increase the outflow would not have been reached.
The IJC has been working to release water at a higher than normal rate for most of 2016. Water levels historically rise through June so we need to hope for no more storms.

During this storm, Sodus Bay also suffered damage.

The east break wall was pounded for over a day, Crescent Beach reportedly over topped and definitely suffered damage over the winter, a boat house has floated several properties away from its home and docks and other items have broken free from the shores of the bay.

Sodus Point April 2016 storm

A boat house that floated away after heavy storm pounding is getting pulled back home.

 

The following was posted on the Sodus Point, NY Facebook page by Rosa Fox:

Charles Point can now again be called Charles Island… The photos below were taken on April 9, 2016 on the stretch of – what used to be the board walk connecting Crescent Beach to Charles Point. The board walk is gone. The breach is about 75 feet wide. Deep spots – so not crossable today. A plume of mud from the break goes 1/4 to 1/2 mile south out into the bay. We expect that the break will widen, as the waves have already started to wash away bushes and beach into the bay. Location is west of the Bloomer cottage.”

April 2016 Storm Damage Sodus Point, NY

Photo by Rosa Fox: Huge hole in Crescent Beach located near Charles Point

 

Photo by Rosa Fox: 70 ft + Breech of Crescent Beach located near Charles Point caused by April 5-6, 2016 Storm on Lake Ontario near Sodus Bay

Photo by Rosa Fox: 70 ft + Breach of Crescent Beach located near Charles Point caused by April 3-4, 2016 Storm on Lake Ontario near Sodus Bay

 

Photo by Rosa Fox: 70 ft + Breech of Crescent Beach located near Charles Point caused by April 5-6, 2016 Storm on Lake Ontario near Sodus Bay

Photo by Rosa Fox: 70 ft + Breach of Crescent Beach located near Charles Point caused by April 3-4, 2016 Storm on Lake Ontario near Sodus Bay

 

Charles Point, Aerial Photo from Cornell Library, Circa 1938

Charles Point, Aerial Photo from Cornell Library, Circa 1938 – Charles Point and Crescent Beach aren’t connected

 

CLAYTON — In two months, Plan 2014 will be celebrating the second anniversary of its inception. There is no set date, however, for its official implementation. Plan 2014 seeks to update half-decade-old lake and river water level regulations so the St. Lawrence River can return to more natural flowing patterns. Last weekend’s Clayton boat show held at the Cerow Recreation Park Arena featured a Plan 2014 presentation by Dereth B. Glance, a commissioner with the International Joint Commission. Plan 2014 was devised by the IJC, a partnership between the United States and Canada to help resolve issues concerning water resources bordering the two countries. Ms. Glance summarized the plan’s goals and gave an update on its progress. She said the plan is essentially in a holding pattern until the IJC receives word from the United States and Canadian governments. Once both governments and the IJC have officially agreed upon the plan, implementation can begin. The plan would update Plan 1958-DD, which has not been changed in more than 50 years. The problem, Ms. Glance said, is that the current plan does not take natural occurrences into account, such as changes in temperature and ice cover over a number of years. Ms. Glance said the current regulations have “compressed” water flow that lies between high and low levels of the lake and seaway. As a result, wetland ecosystems have been harmed significantly, and northern pike populations have plummeted. One of the most important aspects of the plan, Ms. Glance said, is that it’s designed to improve all interests in the lakes and seaway, including the environment, hydropower, sanitation, recreation and navigation. She noted, however, that there have been concerns that new water levels under Plan 2014 regulations could affect dock placement. “We understand that you can’t regulate water levels to make everybody happy, because everybody wants the level at the right level where their dock is,” she said. “That’s important for us to hear ... but we have to do what’s best for the entire system.” Ms. Glance was joined by former Department of Conservation Regional Director Thomas E. Brown, who said the plan would also utilize “adaptive management,” which would analyze the effects of the plan once it’s put into action. Plan 2014 has been supported by U.S. Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Willsboro, who has said she is building support in Congress to help speed up the plan’s launch.

An April 3-4 Storm of 2016 Outcome – a 75 feet breach in Charles Point which is now separating Charles Island from Crescent Beach. Photo by Charles Boogaard

 

This April Storm just gave us a glimpse of what high water levels and a relatively minor storm can do. Arney’s Marina in Sodus Point is barely above water.

As if the storm didn’t send a strong message for us to keep applying pressure and making sure the Plan 2014 doesn’t move forward, a recent article published in Watertown Daily  just added the proverbial fuel to the fire.

It reminded us that in two months, Plan 2014 would be celebrating the second anniversary of its inception.   Dereth B. Glance, a commissioner with the International Joint Commission made a presentation about Plan 2014 at a recent boat show in Clayton, NY.

According to the article, Ms. Glance summarized the plan’s goals and gave an update on its progress. She said the plan is essentially in a holding pattern until the IJC receives word from the United States and Canadian governments. Once both governments and the IJC have officially agreed upon the plan, implementation can begin.

“The plan would update Plan 1958-DD, which has not been changed in more than 50 years. The problem, Ms. Glance said, is that the current plan does not take natural occurrences into account, {INDEED, INCLUDING STORMS SIMILAR TO THE ONE WE JUST HAD – admin} such as changes in temperature and ice cover over a number of years. Ms. Glance said the current regulations have “compressed” water flow that lies between high and low levels of the lake and seaway. As a result, wetland ecosystems have been harmed significantly, and northern pike populations have plummeted.

One of the most important aspects of the plan, Ms. Glance said, is that it’s designed to improve all interests in the lakes and seaway, including the environment, hydropower, sanitation, recreation and navigation. She noted, however, that there have been concerns that new water levels under Plan 2014 regulations could affect dock placement. {A major understatement from our perspective – admin} 

“We understand that you can’t regulate water levels to make everybody happy, because everybody wants the level at the right level where their dock is,” she said. “That’s important for us to hear … but we have to do what’s best for the entire system.” {We also want our shoreline to stay where it is. What’s wrong with that?- admin}

Plan 2014 has been supported by U.S. Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Willsboro, who has said she is building support in Congress to help speed up the plan’s launch.”

Below is a photo (by Chris Trine) of the protection for the parking lot at Sodus Point Park, owned by Wayne County. The damage would be greater under Plan 2014, since water levels would be much higher than at the present time.  Additionally, and more importantly, the damage to public infrastructure like this was never added as a cost during Plan 2014 assessments.

Parking-Lot-Protection-Chri

 

The message that this storm brought was loud and clear: We need to do all we can to prevent Plan 2014 from going into effect. We are reaching out to our community for support – please support us financially so that we can facilitate the restoration of the barrier bar, make the necessary trips, collect more data and once again deliver our message to the decision makers BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.  

DONATE NOW

Save Our Sodus Works On Your Behalf.

Help us Preserve and Protect Great Sodus Bay from Plan 2014 – make a one-time or a recurring tax-deductible contribution to SOS. Just click on the button to DONATE NOW! (Secure donations are processed through Network For Good)

When the time comes, we’ll call on you to sign petitions and get involved in other ways. We are in it together.

PLEASE SHARE THIS PAGE WITH ALL YOUR FRIENDS THAT LOVE SODUS BAY AND CARE FOR IT. 

 

DEC Summer Camps

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation runs summer camps for kids 11-17 years old.

DEC camps combine environmental education, sportsman education and outdoor fun.

Registration for DEC’s four summer environmental education camps begins January 27, 2016 at 10 AM.

What could be better than enjoying the outdoors in the Adirondacks, southern Catskills or Western New York?

Kids can attend a fun-filled week at camp where they learn about the environment and engage in various outdoor activities such as shooting sports, fishing, hiking and canoeing. Campers can even take Hunter Education or Bowhunter Education courses during their stay to qualify for their sporting license.

Do you know a kid interested in spending time outdoors this summer? For only $350, a week at camp will become a lifetime of memories.

Camper registration begins January 27, 2016 at 10 AM.

Learn more and register at http://www.dec.ny.gov/education/29.html

New Yorkers take action to protect lands and waters from invasive species that can be harmful to human health, animal habitat, agriculture and tourism.

Invasive species can be a serious problem in communities around Sodus Bay, with the potential to damage animal habitats and impede the growth of our tourism and agricultural industries.

In 2014 and 2015 New York State ran Invasive Species Awareness weeks.

Some key recommendations to prevent Invasives getting into Sodus Bay:

Recreational Boating Precautions

It is very important that boaters, anglers and other recreational enthusiasts take precautions to avoid transporting this and other invasive species, particularly after leaving waters known to harbor aquatic invasive species.

Clean, Drain & Dry Inspect your fishing and boating equipment and remove all mud, plants and other organisms that might be clinging to them.  Once clean, ensure that all equipment has been properly drained, paying particular attention to bilge areas, livewells, and baitwells in boats.  Drying is the most effective “disinfection” mechanism and is least likely to damage sensitive equipment and clothing. All fishing and boating equipment, clothing and other gear should be dried completely before moving to another body of water. This may take a week or more depending upon the type of equipment, where it is stored and weather conditions. A basic rule of thumb is to allow at least 48 hours for drying most non-porous fishing and boating gear at relative humidity levels of 70 percent or less.  Steps should be taken to actively disinfect fishing and boating equipment if it cannot be dried before its use in another body of water.

DEC adopted new regulations that require boaters to remove all visible plant and animal materials from boats, trailers and associated equipment, and to drain boats prior to launching and after retrieving from DEC lands.

More information can be found on New York State Invasive Species Information Site:  http://www.nyis.info/index.php

 

We Did It!

After ten years, SOS and its partners are finally able to say that we collected every water chestnut that we could find today.  What was 22 acres is now zero.  We were under trees, around fallen trees and in the cattails.  We made a sweep of Second Creek itself and the center open water of Emerald Cove and when we couldn’t find any more we quit for pizza.  A big, “Thank you.”, to the Scouts, the Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District, NY Sea Grant, the SOS Launch Stewards, the NY Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Launch Steward from Fair Haven State Park, the Sodus Bay Improvement Association and SOS members from all around the Bay and some of their friends.

Did we get them all?  No.  We likely missed a few and there will be some late bloomers but they will likely not mature.  Our job now shifts to vigilance, lest they return.  SOS appreciates all the help and support received over the years and now it’s time for the riparians in the Emerald Cove area to take up the baton and continue the challenge.  I’m sure that the County Soil and Water Conservation District will continue to harvest the areas accessible to the harvesters.  If the job that they did this year is any example, over 80 loads in the last two weeks, the remaining task should be manageable.

Recently I was contacted by a student from a local high school who was “completing a research project about the negative and positive effects that foreign invaders have on the environment”. Because I felt it might have a broader appeal than to just one student and with the student’s permission, the questions and my response follow.

Q:

1) Despite all of the negative impacts invasive species have on the environment, are you aware of any positive impacts they have as well? If so, what?

2) Can you list examples of invasive species in New York, and what roles they play in the ecosystem they have invaded?

3) What solutions or programs are being enacted to solve the problems associated with foreign invaders?

4) To what degree are invasives impacting our area/New York State as a whole?

5) Have you conducted research in this area of study? If so, what was your hypothesis (what was the subject) and what conclusions did/could you deduct from the research?

A:

 The National Invasive Species Information Center (NISIC) defines invasive species as plants, animals, or pathogens that are non-native (or alien) to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause harm.  I am not an expert or researcher by any means but I have taken an interest during my retirement to advance the water quality of Sodus Bay in an effort to sustain it for future generations.  I am pleased that you are interested in this subject.

In the relatively short time that this country has existed, over 200 invasives have found their way here from other parts of the world.  Not all non-native, non-indigenous imports are bad.  There are both good and bad imports.  Invasives are like weeds.  Plants are only weeds if you don’t want them where they are.  Many non-indigenous plants, animals and pathogens were brought here with good intentions as was the case with Water Chestnut, Eurasian Water Milfoil, Hydrilla and Mute Swans.  Each of these was brought to this country by man to beautify aquariums or garden ponds with no consideration for unintended consequences.  Each has proven itself to be a net negative influence and a formidable foe costing hundreds of millions of dollars to control while none has been eradicated at this point.  I’m essentially convinced that eradication, although a goal, is rarely attainable and that a level of acceptable coexistence is a more reasonable end point.  This is the case with Purple Loosestrife.  Biological controls proven in Southeast Asia, in part by Cornell University students and staff, have the potential to bring this invasive into harmony with indigenous species.

Others invasives arrived here unintentionally by other vectors or pathways.  As residents of the Great Lakes Basin, we have been subjected to a major vector since the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway.  We have become victims of the contents of ballast water discharged into the Great Lakes by ships from around the world.  With that ballast water come potential invasives.  There is much talk currently regarding the treatment of ballast and bilge water prior to discharge to prevent the introduction of invasives into Great Lakes waters. This will serve to slow the influx of new threats.

Many imports are not perceived as harmful and are part of our daily diets. The tomato comes from the South American Andes via Mexico.  Bananas are native to Indomalaya and Australia.  Others, although harmful to the aquatic food chain, are perceived as beneficial.  Quagga and Zebra muscles are in this category in the eyes of some.  They have filtered algae from the water column creating clear water to greater depths than previously experienced.  To the casual observer this would appear to be an improvement.  The unintended consequence is that now the macrophite community (weeds) can flourish at greater water depths increasing the total biomass of the water body, diminishing recreational opportunities.   These small bivalves also serve to restrict water flow wherever there is an intake to a power plant, municipal water system or boat as they inhabit intake screens restricting water flow.

Monolithic stands of Water Chestnut have choked the southern waterways of Lake Champlain for over 100 years.  They have also destroyed previously thriving fishery habitat across the state. Presently we are faced with an even more formidable aquatic plant, Hydrilla.  As this invasive attempts a foothold at the southern end of Cayuga Lake at the Ithaca Inlet, at Fall Creek and in Tonawanda Creek that forms part of the Erie Canal, the State is expending great effort and money to contain and eradicate this plant.  Hydrilla has the ability to render a water body unusable as it has in the Florida everglades.

The “cost/(invasive) life cycle” curve quickly points out the cost benefit and comparison of prevention, early detection, control and reduction/eradication.  Many invasives arrive in a new environment with an ecological advantage.  They lack natural enemies and controls and may fill a niche not being served by their indigenous cohorts.  Consequently they thrive at the expense of native indigenous species until they come into balance or dominance over those with which they compete.  Other invasives that you may have heard of or be familiar with are Emerald Ash Borer that will kill most of New York’s ash trees, Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed (phototoxic) and Phragmites Australis which are spreading along our roadsides at an alarming rate.  Their propagation mechanism is roadside mowing.  The Round Goby is here to stay and the Asian Carp is threatening the Great Lakes at the Chicago sanitary and shipping canal that connects to the upper Mississippi basin at the Illinois River.

New York State has passed legislation to restrict the sale of some known invasives and recently passed legislation governing the transportation of aquatic invasive species via the vector of boats, trailers and motors.  This “Clean, Drain, Dry” campaign targets the spread of invasives and has spawned the advent of the Launch Steward Program around the state.  It targets macrophytes, baitfish and bilge water.  Lumber, wood product and firewood restrictions are also in place.

I suggest that you poke around on the internet for a plethora of additional information.   The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation would be a good place to start.  We are fortunate to be located in an area rich in academic resources that specialize in these and related subject areas.

I wish you well in your studies and encourage you to continue in this vein.  It is flush with opportunities.

Sincerely,

Dave Scudder, President, SOS

Clean and Green

Several weeks ago it was suggested that I investigate some greener approaches to our activities around marinas and private property on the water. I made an inquiry at West Marine and was introduced to The Brite Group, e.g.: Captain John’s Boat Brite. This is a well established, local company that can be accessed at 585-943-6111 or BoatBrite.com. This local company offers a line of boat maintenance products that are both green and effective. The accompanying piece is from their web site and helps explain the difference between something that is biodegradable and something that is green that will do less harm to you and the environment. EPA Clean and Green Guidelines.
–David Scudder. President SOS

Or ….“What will Plan 2014 do for you?”

If you’ve been coming to Sodus Bay very long, you’re not only aware of Crescent Beach (the sand bar), but understand its importance to the bay.  Crescent Beach is the isthmus that connects what would be the island of Charles Point to Lake Bluff.  Charles Point and Lake Bluff are very similar in geologic makeup, being mostly clay and hard pan.  Crescent Beach consists of stones, gravel and sand.  The importance of Crescent Beach to Sodus Bay cannot be overstated.  Without it, the northern ends of Leroy and Newark Islands would be exposed to the ravages of Lake Ontario.  They would become lake shore.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

If Plan 2014 is ratified by Canada and the United States we know that we will be faced with higher highs and lower lows.  That is what has been proposed by the IJC.  The lows may nourish the sand bar; the highs will be devastating.  If you don’t think that is important I would ask you to read on.

An acquaintance of mine recently purchased a cottage on Crescent Beach.  In August she witnessed lake waves overtopping the lakeside of her property and running across her property to the bay.  This is a lot that has not been breached in my lifetime.  The (six gauge average) water level at the time (August 13, 2014) was 246.00.  The upper control limit, datum, is 247.3. 

I have been spending summers on Sodus Bay since 1942 and feel that I know a little about it.  In the 40s we would cut through the sand bar between Pearl Rook’s and Bob Bloomer’s with our 14’ Penn Yan and outboard motor on our way to Chimney Bluff.  It saved over a mile one way, a big deal with a five horse motor.  In the very late 40s we did the same at the very eastern end of the sand bar.  That had opened up to the lake destroying several boathouses at the base of the bluff on what used to be bay shore.   In the mid 50s, the middle of the sand bar was washed out for a couple of thousand feet, the sand bar sagged south into the bay a couple of hundred feet, reestablished itself and Knob Island was no more.  This tiny island became part of the sand bar where it remains today.  Check an older chart (Sodus Bay Heights entryway) and you can see the separation of the sand bar from Knob Island for yourself.

It’s clear to me that the sand bar, Crescent Beach, can not only be overtopped but breached, even under the present plan 1958-DD.  I rowed over it in 1972.  The western end narrows to 15 feet during high water and overtops regularly.  The 1958-DD upper control limit is 247.30’ and we have seen higher, i.e. 1993.  Neither plan offers any guarantee.  Plan 2014 doesn’t even advertise control limits but rather trigger points.  For this time of year those trigger points are well above the current upper control limit of 1958-DD and represent the point at which the new Board of Control may begin to take action; untenable.  A man-made disaster.

I have seen the sand bar recede significantly into the bay.  I have witnessed several over toppings and breaches.  I have seen Sodus Point, Sands Point, flooded (early 1970s).  Plan 2014 will only exacerbate the current condition.  If we’re going to save our Sodus we’re going to have to not only alter behavior within the watershed but prevent the ratification of Plan 2014.  The risk Plan 2014 presents is not offset by the hypothetical rewards the study purports and there are alternatives that would allow us to attain the wetland benefits they seek.  SOS supports this latter approach.

Wetland restoration seems to be the driving force at the hands of environmental groups and the NYS DEC.  Shipping no longer supports Plan 2014.  Hydropower generation will not reap even the small gains forecast; Plan 2014 does not create any more water.  With the possible exception of significant effects from climate change, over rated in my view, there really is no benefactor, not even the advertised 8% increase in meadow marsh.  Our wetland areas at the outfalls of the six major tributaries that feed the bay would not benefit from Plan 2014.  Our topography and geology would not respond favorably to the proposed higher highs and lower lows.  The SOS position is that an intervention is required if we are to revitalize our wetlands opening them up to flower, fauna, nature seeking humans and the ability to mitigate pollutant laden sediments.

I encourage you to write, call or make a personal appeal to your state and federal legislators citing your concerns and soliciting their support in opposing Plan 2014.

Dave Scudder

* Lyrics from: Five Feet High and Rising – Johnny R. Cash

(An open letter to Save Our Sodus members.) 

In response to the August 24th Opinion in the Times of Wayne County, “Support grows for a new plan to restore Lake Ontario”, I make the following observations.

Of the 41 organizations supporting Plan 2014 (the Plan), only a few of which are enumerated in the text of the opinion, the majority are wildlife or conservancy oriented.  The odd man out is my alma mater, Clarkson University, which straddles the most highly developed river per mile, for hydro-electric power generation, in the world.  I believe that their support is being influenced by local sentiment within their Institute for a Sustainable Environment.

I have not seen the referenced letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, et al.  It claims that, “The letter details how Plan 2014 will protect against extreme water levels…”.  What they don’t say is that the extreme water levels they talk about will actually be created by Plan 2014, which proposes higher highs and lower lows vs. the current Plan 1958 DD.  Seasonally variable high and low water trigger points, along with new operating guidelines and “adaptive management” influences, as yet unknown, will only serve to exacerbate these extremes.  The protection they speak of only applies to the Canadians who have said that they will not accept any plan that subjects them to an economic loss.  The losses will all be incurred by the property owners along the south shore of Lake Ontario.  The Nature Conservancy claims that the Plan is good because it allows wetland restoration to be accomplished for free.  Beware the free lunch.  It is a combination of overstated benefits and unintended consequences that have lead us to many disasters.

They claim that the plan will “restore tens of thousands of acres of wetlands…”.  That remains speculative; unproven.  Most, including Save Our Sodus (SOS) and me, support the concept of revitalizing necessary wetlands and making them a sustainable resource that will mitigate pollutants from runoff. Sodus Bay will benefit very little from the Plan due to our topography.  Proven means do exist that would revitalize the Sodus Bay wetlands with no economic loss to waterfront property owners.  In fact, water quality and habitat within both the wetlands and the bay would improve from these measures.  As the membership is aware, SOS is advocating and pursuing this approach and has testified to the IJC study team to this end.

Their letter claims that the Plan will “boost hydropower production …”.  They seem to overlook the fact that the Plan will not create any more water for the generation of hydroelectric power.  In fact, during periods of extreme high water, excess water would bypass the powerhouse via the spillway.  The only basis for their claim assumes that climate change would create more precipitation within the Lake Ontario watershed and the Great Lakes basin-wide.  I would argue that climate change, or perhaps only statistical variation in reality, has an equal chance of reducing the amount of water within the system.  This scenario would lead to a reduction in hydropower production.  The IJC claims that power generation is the big winner under the Plan.  Logic and science do not support that position.

The last point that they make is that the Plan will “enhance outdoor recreation and increase the resilience of 712 miles of Lake Ontario shoreline…”.  They clearly weren’t considering Sodus Bay or the Village of Sodus Point when they composed this statement.  Our wetlands won’t be restored, a large portion of the Village risks flooding and our shoreline infrastructure may be destroyed or rendered useless.  Plan 2014 is such a deal for us.  High water shuts us down and low water puts us out of business.  The resilience they speak of does not relate to our shoreline infrastructure.  In fact, it is not clear to this writer how it is helpful in any way in combating the extremes of high water, low water or storm events.

Why wouldn’t the IJC unanimously support this plan?  They concocted it from a ten year old, outdated, $20,000,000 international study with the help and influence of at least some of the 41 parties alluded to, in secrecy behind closed doors.  Touted gains are estimates based on projections and a hypothetical future state.  No consideration was ever given to the impacts on embayments like Sodus Bay.  Contrary to Jim Howe’s claim, the more that I learn about the Plan, the less I like it and I have never supported it.

The letter is appearing throughout the region to garner support for Plan 2014.  They obviously no longer feel that the acceptance of Plan 2014 is fait accompli.  Let’s rout them from this absurdity.  Write your letter or email to Governor Cuomo atwww.state.ny.us/governor and make your opposition known.  We are fast approaching a decision that, if not in opposition to Plan 2014, will prove catastrophic to our waterfront interests.

David S. Scudder, SOS President

We have recently had closings of some nearby Finger Lakes to all types of recreational use because of HABs and their related microcystin toxins. Upstream of Lake Ontario, western Lake Erie is suffering from a major HAB outbreak that has caused cities (e.g.: Toledo) to warn residents that they should not consume, cook or even bathe with water from the public water system. Basically they told the public not to use public water, period. Levels of toxins exceeded the World Health Organization’s (WHO) drinking water standard of one (1) part per billion (ppb). Toxin contaminated water cannot be made safe by boiling, chlorination or filtration.

Sodus Bay has had essentially no HAB outbreaks this year and toxicity levels, so far, are un-detectable at <0.1 ppb. The following information is preemptory and an attempt to inform you before the need to ask questions arises. One can safely assume that most guidelines for dogs are applicable to humans.  See  HABS Fact Sheet (updated 11-2014)

~Dave Scudder